‘Stages’ of Transition:

As stated earlier, our mission is to help students transition towards success.  Since this process can be challenging and, at times overwhelming, we provide the necessary structure and guidance to help students recognize their positive movement.  The process of pursuing success is broken down into five different stages; Rookie, Apprentice, Starter, Veteran and Mentor. These stages offer students clear feedback on their progress.  Students will track their progress with weekly point sheets.

Stage 1:  ‘ROOKIE  STAGE’ The Rookie stage is characterized by a student who is getting to know our program. As with most Rookies, they need time ‘to learn the system.’  Rookies tend to make more mistakes than the Veterans and therefore are given less privileges.  In order for Rookies to progress to Stage 2, the Apprentice stage, they need to complete the following tasks for 10 consecutive days:

  • Attend school on daily basis
  • Complete 80 percent of their assignments
  • Receive passing grades in all classes
  • Spend less than 12 percent of time in the BIP room (weekly)
  • Practice self-control as evidenced by no aggressive behavior

Privileges include:  School store purchases. 

Stage 2:  ‘APPRENTICE STAGE’ The Apprentice stage is characterized by a student who has demonstrated the knowledge of how to navigate the system successfully.  At this stage, they are confronted with the challenge of practicing the skills more consistently to enjoy the benefit of greater independence.  In order for Apprentices to successfully complete this stage and advance to stage 3, the Starter stage, students need to complete the following tasks for 15 consecutive days:

  • Attend school on daily basis
  • Complete 85 percent of their assignments
  • Receive passing grades in all classes
  • Spend less than 8 percent of time in the BIP room (weekly)
  • Practice self-control as evidenced by no aggressive behavior

Privileges include:  School store purchases, opportunity to shadow a veteran and observe the process of running the school store, eligible to apply for teaching assistantship.

Stage 3:  ‘STARTER STAGE’   The Starter stage is characterized by a student who has demonstrated the knowledge and consistent practice of the basic skills for continued academic success.   As the name implies, the student has shown the ability and earned the right to ‘start the game.’  At this stage, the student has earned the trust of the staff that they can behave responsibly and appropriately.  In order for Starters to successfully complete this stage and advance to stage 4, the Veteran stage, students need to complete the  following tasks for 15 consecutive days:

  • Attend school on daily basis
  • Complete 90 percent of their assignments
  • Receive passing grades in all classes
  • Spend less than 5 percent of time in the BIP room (weekly)
  • Practice self-control as evidenced by no aggressive behavior

Privileges include:  School store purchases, opportunity to take an in school job, and teaching assistantship.

Stage 4:  ‘VETERAN STAGE’ The Veteran stage is characterized by a student who has demonstrated knowledge and success in their ability to perform their academic responsibilities.  The Veteran student has shown through their daily behavior that they understand what it takes ‘to get the job done.’  The Veteran’s transition skills have been tested and proven.  They understand through experience the challenges of staying focused on their goals and ambitions.  The Veteran has earned the trust of the staff to accept and handle more independent activities.  In order for Veterans to successfully complete this stage and advance to stage 5, the Mentor stage, students need to complete the following tasks for 15 consecutive days:

  • Attend school on daily basis
  • Complete 95 percent of their assignments
  • Receive passing grades in all classes
  • Spend less than 3 percent of time in the BIP room (weekly)
  • Practice self-control as evidenced by no aggressive behavior
  • Establish contact with home district school and explore options for transition
  • Complete a job interest inventory (High School students)
  • Visit a college campus (Junior High & High School students)

Privileges include:  School store purchases, opportunity for in school jobs, employment opportunities (High School students), help run the school store, teaching assistantship, bathroom and hall passes, and opportunity to help with orientation of new students.

Stage 5:  ‘MENTOR STAGE’ As a Mentor, the student has arrived!  They have shown themselves and others they have achieved success in our program.  Mentors consistently practice transition skills necessary for academic and vocational success beyond Desert Heights Academy. As the name implies, Mentors lead by example.  Through their positive behavior, they strengthen those around them.  They provide encouragement to Rookies and guidance to Apprentices, Starters and Veterans.  Mentors have earned the trust of staff to accept and handle independent activities.  In order to maintain at this stage, students need to complete the following tasks on a day to day basis:

  • Attend school on daily basis
  • Complete 100 percent of their assignments
  • Receive passing grades in all classes
  • Receive No BIP referrals
  • Practice self-control as evidenced by no aggressive behavior
  • Establish contact with home district school and explore options for transition
  • Identify a concrete plan for success beyond Desert Heights Academy
  • Establish a list of possible employment opportunities
  • Identify contact people at various job sites
  • Identify with and meet with a contact person(s) at a college campus (High School students)
Privileges include:  School store purchases, opportunity for in school jobs, employment opportunities (High School students), teaching assistantship, bathroom and hall passes, opportunity to help with orientation of new students, opportunity to mentor a Rookie, Apprentice, Starter, or Veteran.